The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

Oct 19, 2019

What People Think of Alabama

 People who have never visited Alabama get their impressions of the state from a variety of sources....Movies, TV, Novels...and photographs.
     Unfortunately, some of the people who produce those depictions go into it with preconceived notions...and that's what I thought of when I saw this photo feature focused on Alabama from The Guardian. 

     Thirteen Photos under the title "Blue Alabama". 
     What do you think? Is it a true representation of the state, or just a representation of a part of Alabama that we've seen many, many times before?

Oct 18, 2019

Block Party on Saturday!!!!

     A block party is planned for Madison Avenue across from Paterson Field in Montgomery on Saturday 10-19-19, 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM!
     Stop by Utter Clutter and the Southern Art and Makers Collective!

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Chavis McQueen, Utter Clutter

Back in the saddle again.


     Almost six months after my retirement, I've been called back to fill-in on the weekend news this weekend and next weekend! Join us for the Saturday news at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm on CBS 8 or ABC 32, and the FOX news at 9:00 pm.
     On Saturday the early news is on at 5:30.
     Sports may cause delays!

The Friday Rush

I-85 Traffic in Montgomery on Friday, 10-18-19

65 Years Ago today-Paterson Field

      Ever wonder who Paterson Field in Montgomery is named for?  (Not the former Governor, he has two "p"s in his name.)
      That Patterson was Attorney General 1955 - 1959, and was a staunch segregationist Governor. (He is still living---97 years old!)


  65 years ago today, the baseball facility was named for the son of William Burns Paterson, William Paterson, Jr., former Auburn football star and chair of the Montgomery athletic board. 
     His father was celebrated for founding schools for African-American Students, and founding Rosemont Gardens in Montgomery (though there's no mention of him on the shop's website).
ASU Campus
       Paterson, Sr. helped create the "Lincoln Normal School" in 1867 in Marion. It eventually became Alabama State University in Montgomery. 

     The reference to "Tullibody" on the ASU campus refers to the town in Scotland where Paterson was born. 
     His son died of a heart attack the morning of October 18 1954 and the stadium, which had opened in 1949, was named in his honor the next day. *


I worked next to Paterson Field for a decade---at Alabama Public Television. I would frequently find foul balls at, or under, my car. Eventually I used them as part of an art-installation piece in my home gallery.

"Foul Ball", circa 2010

(*Note that the headline spells the name incorrectly! One "t", not two.)

Oct 16, 2019

Unfair to Cops?

From a lawyer's column in the Chicago Sun-Times:

     If (Aaron) Dean is guilty of murder (in the shooting of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth), what’s next? Should we charge nurses and doctors with murder when they make mistakes and someone dies? How about a firefighter who drives the truck too slow? Or the construction manager of the building in New Orleans that collapsed and killed a worker inside?
     Is professional malpractice really now a strict liability offense for murder whenever someone dies?
    As for the racial overlay, there is, sadly, enough racism in this world we don’t need to go looking and manufacture more. We don’t eviscerate our country’s sad racist history by charging white cops with murder every time they shoot a person of color.
The logical consequence of all this will be police won’t get out of their cars, what some call the “Ferguson effect.” Like you, almost all of them just want to do their jobs and go back to their families.

     Montgomery has its own police shooting trial coming up with another officer named Aaron...Aaron Smith. He's charged with murder in the shooting death of Gregory Gunn. Prosecutors and Defense lawyers have been fighting over moving the trial out of Montgomery because of the amount of publicity it received. 

Oct 15, 2019

Ron Reagan, Jr. Ad that was shown on CNN During Democratic Debate

     The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s ad featuring Ron Reagan describing himself as “an unabashed atheist” was rejected for airing by CBS, not only by “60 Minutes” (the desired placement), but for any CBS show.
     The ad debuted last May on both “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central.
     A CBS agent indicated that the ad was rejected “for words and tone.” 

Add to your medical lexicon


The CDC now has a name for the vaping lung injuries:

e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI).

Here's the CDC first use of that name.

Media: Variety on Norah O'Donnell

Variety is out with a major article about the new CBS anchor and the changes being made by the Network, especially in their 3rd place prime time newscast.

It points out one change the new producer made that, frankly, mirrors a criticism I had for a year under the previous Executive Producer:

The CBS broadcast “gets out of the heds before anyone else,” says Zirinsky, watching the behind-the-scenes action from a busy control room. It seems like a small thing, but it’s big for Zirinsky, who points a visitor’s gaze at screens showing that, at least on this night, viewers can see O’Donnell at the desk delivering her first story while NBC and ABC are still in the midst of their openings. Before O’Donnell’s arrival at “CBS Evening News,” the intro consisted of a montage of clips, with someone else’s voice talking over them, that lasted 90 seconds — an eternity in the high-pressure world of a newscast that is, without commercial breaks, just 20 or so minutes long.

Hyundai's $35 Billion Dollar Investment

CNN reports the automaker will spend that much on developing autonomous & electric vehicles. That's certain to have an impact on the Hyundai plant in Montgomery:

"Hyundai (HYMTF) said Tuesday it plans to release 23 kinds of electric vehicles by 2025. That would make up roughly half of its new lineup.
The automaker has a powerful partner in its efforts to transform its business. The announcement was backed by a pledge from South Korea's government to spend 2.2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) on innovative auto technology.
"Our goal is to become the number one country for future car competitiveness by 2030," President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday, speaking at a Hyundai research center."

Do You Know Lisman, Alabama?

     I had to look it up on a map....really small, small-town Alabama.    
     Towards the Mississippi line. We call if the back belt because of the rich soil, though in recent years, every-time I write that explanation it feels less true.

     Now it is a trending story on The Washington Post, the kind of story Yankee reporters like Stephanie McCrummen love to write about hardscrabble, dirt-poor, tiny Alabama towns.  She describes it as one of the least powerful places in Alabama and who can argue?
     The story has poverty, small-towness, with race and politics and lots of color, most of it black. And a parade too.
     And excellent photography, like the photo below, by the Post's Michael S. Williamson
     Read it.

Oct 14, 2019

New Air Force Tool

An earlier Mother of All Bombs Version

and NOW:
"The satellite-guided Massive Ordnance Penetrator, otherwise known as MOP, is a 30,000-pound bomb with a 6,000-pound high-explosive warhead that is designed to destroy hard and deeply buried targets such as reinforced-concrete bunkers and deeply buried tunnel facilities."

"An explosion from the gigantic air-dropped munition is expected to penetrate as deeply as 200 feet through reinforced concrete, which is able to withstand pressure of 5,000 pounds per square inch. The bomb will burrow more than 26 feet into the ground through reinforced concrete before detonating."

Read The Full Story HERE.

Was Christopher Columbus "Black"?

     An excellent New York Times story explores Italian Immigration to the U.S., reporting many were treated the same as African-Americans:

"As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change."

In Alabama, Birmingham came to be referred to as Little Italy because so many Italians immigrated to the "new" city. 

Oct 12, 2019

TGFG---College Book Burning

A Latina novelist spoke about white privilege. Students burned her book in response.


The Story HERE

I'm guessing these Georgia college students don't know about the history of book burning?





An Eyecatching CNET Headline

Hyundai, Kia reach $760M settlement over engine fire lawsuit

Owners will receive cash settlements and plenty of other additional safeguards for over 4 million vehicles with the affected engines.

45 years ago

45 years ago today---- on Saturday, October 12, 1974---- a group of heavily armed men, later identified as Black Muslims, shot to death a retired city policeman in a bizarre outbreak of violence on Dexter Avenue. Then three members of the group took over radio station WAPX where they exchanged gunfire with police for more than two hours while pleading for “our brothers to come join us in the revolution."

Jimmy Carter (no, not the former President) was a young reporter with a camera at the can watch the film he shot, and hear his commentary HERE.

Oct 11, 2019

So who vapes?

I don't, but based on the TV coverage of vaping it appeared to be an affluent, young white male thing.

     But a new Gallup report indicates it is more non-white, less educated and poorer. Here's their chart.

And I Thought Algebra Was Tough....

     I won't even try to explain what this chart is supposed to display, but apparently there is something small, or something very big, wrong with the way astrophysicists explain how the Universe works.

From Live

"It might be something small: a measurement issue that makes certain stars looks closer or farther away than they are, something astrophysicists could fix with a few tweaks to how they measure distances across space. It might be something big: an error — or series of errors — in  cosmology, or our understanding of the universe's origin and evolution. If that's the case, our entire history of space and time may be messed up."

My head hurt after the first paragraph. YOU give it a try...HERE.

The Lonely Democrat

     Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell, the only Democrat in the Alabama U.S. House Delegation, writes in the N.Y. Times that she favors the impeachment inquiry, but not---not yet anyway---actually removing the President from office:

"We do not know where this inquiry will lead or whether drafting articles of impeachment in the House will be the next appropriate course of action. To be clear, my support for an inquiry is not yet synonymous with support for removing the president from office.

What I do know is this: The president of the United States has endangered our national security and the strength of our democracy. By his own admission, he has betrayed his oath to the American people.
The patriots of the civil rights movement risked everything to make our union more perfect. Those brave individuals spoke truth to power about the ways in which our nation was not living up to the ideals upon which it was founded."

Oct 10, 2019

Lock Him Up!

A N.Y. Times column recommends locking Rudy Giuliani up for contempt of Congress:

"The House should instead put back on the table the option of using its sergeant-at-arms to arrest contemnors — as the person in violation of the order is called — especially when an individual, like Rudy Giuliani, is not an executive branch official."

Josh Chafetz is the author of “Congress’s Constitution.”